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    Electronista: Apple patent would give iPhone, iPad switchable privacy LCD

    Electronista reports on new patents by computing company Apple that concern privacy:

    An Apple patent in the US has shown the company exploring the idea of LCDs with switchable privacy levels. A screen on a device like an iPad, iPod, or Mac would have a “scattering module” behind the screen, as well as wedge-like liquid crystal elements in the screen itself, that would steer the lights going through the display. Toggling a privacy mode on the device would narrow the cone of light so that someone couldn’t spy on the screen while still giving the owner a clear view when looking head-on. […]

    Apple filed for the patent in November 2009 and likely developed it knowing the iPad and other devices were candidates. Patents like this aren’t necessarily indicative of Apple’s actual plans.

    Privacy screens are common features on some notebooks today but are used primarily for corporate PCs and rely on basic film covers to achieve the effect. Apple’s strategy, if made real, could lead both to a truly integrated, user-controlled privacy display and expand it to truly mobile devices.

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